2017-18 School Year Data Shows Promising Academic Growth for Washington’s Charter Public School Students

Last week, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction released statewide results for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) tests, standardized grade-level assessments administered in Spring 2018 to Washington public school students in grades 3-8 and 10. It also released results for the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS), administered to students in grades 5, 8, and 11.

Analysis of SBAC results indicate that statewide, reading scores are up slightly from last year, while math remains flat across grade levels. “We can see that gaps are closing for many student groups, but the size of the gaps will make it a long process,” State Superintendent Chris Reykdal remarked.

In 2017-18, 2400 students attended ten charter public schools statewide. In Spring 2018, all ten of Washington’s ten operating charter public schools administered SBAC tests to at least one grade level. “We are heartened to see promising growth and proficiency trends among Washington’s charter public school students,” said WA Charters CEO Patrick D’Amelio. “We see bright trends in particular among the following subgroups: Black/African American students, students living in poverty, Hispanic/Latinx students, and English language learners.”

Washington’s charter public schools continue to serve higher-than-average percentages of students impacted by inequities, and in turn, many students enter school several grade levels behind. In May 2018, 56 percent of Washington’s charter public school students came from low-income households, as compared to 42 percent statewide. 60 percent of Washington’s charter public school students identified as students of color, as compared to 46 percent statewide. 15 percent of students attending charter public schools received special education services in 2017-18, as compared to the statewide average of 14 percent.

“Statewide assessments, including the Smarter Balanced and WCAS tests, are one of many tools used to measure student achievement, and are an important piece of the puzzle that helps schools identify what is working for students, and where curriculum and instruction could benefit from deeper examination,” said D’Amelio. “Beyond looking at just proficiency rates, we also pay very close attention to measures of student growth. Growth data is particularly helpful in understanding how well schools are serving students who are entering their charter public schools very far behind. Taken together, measures of proficiency and growth give us a more robust—and encouraging—picture of how the sector is doing as a whole.”

While we currently have access to SBAC proficiency data, SBAC growth data for the 2017-18 school year is expected to be published later this year. In addition to the SBAC, other measures of year-long achievement and growth used by Washington’s charters include the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA MAP), the Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading (STAR), and the Lexia Core5 Reading assessment.

Here are some trends in proficiency and growth across Washington’s charter public school sector for 2017-18.[1]

  • Across the charter public school sector, fifth graders from low-income households met or exceeded grade level expectations on the SBAC math test at higher rates than peers in their local districts and statewide in the same subgroup.
  • Across the charter public school sector, Hispanic/Latinx sixth graders met or exceeded grade level expectations at higher rates than their Hispanic/Latinx peers in local districts and statewide on both the ELA and math SBAC tests.
  • Across the charter public school sector, Black/African American eighth graders met or exceeded grade level expectations at higher rates than their Black/African American peers in local districts on the math SBAC test.
  • Students at Washington’s charter public high schools outperformed their peers in local districts and across the state by more than 10 percent on the 11th grade statewide science test (WCAS).

KING COUNTY

GREEN DOT EXCEL PUBLIC CHARTER SCHOOL 

Grades served in 2017-18: 7-9

Students Excel Kent State
Low income 52% 49% 42%
Students of color 68% 66% 46%
Transitional bilingual 13% 21% 12%
Special education 15% 11% 14%
  • Excel students exceeded national MAP projections on the SBAC by 50 to 80 percent across all grades and subjects. (Projections were based on students’ achievement on fall MAP tests.)
  • On the math SBAC test, Excel eighth graders receiving special education services achieved proficiency at more than double the rate of peers receiving special education services in their local district counterparts, and nearly double the rate of their peers receiving special education services statewide. 

RAINIER PREP

Grades served in 2017-18: 5-8

Students Rainier Prep Highline State
Low income 77% 63% 42%
Students of color 82% 78% 46%
Transitional bilingual 28% 28% 12%
Special education 11% 16% 14%
  •  Rainier Prep students averaged more than 1.5 years of reading growth in one academic year as measured by the STAR assessment.
  • Across all grade levels tested, Rainier Prep ELLs met or exceeded grade level expectations at higher rates than peers in the local district and statewide on the ELA and math SBAC tests.
    • Sixth grade ELLs at Rainier Prep significantly outperformed their ELL peers in the local district and demonstrated nearly double the proficiency rate on the ELA state assessment as compared to the statewide average and triple the proficiency rate in math as compared to peers statewide.
    • Eighth grade ELLs at Rainier Prep met or exceeded grade level expectations at nearly triple the rate of their ELL peers statewide in the ELA and math SBAC tests and met or exceeded grade level expectations at more than double the rate of ELLs in the local district.
  • Across all grade levels tested, Black/African American students at Rainier Prep achieved proficiency at higher rates than Black/African American peers in the local district and statewide on the math SBAC tests.
  • Hispanic/Latinx eighth graders at Rainier Prep met or exceeded grade level expectations at rates more than 20 percent higher than their peers from the same subgroup statewide on the state math, ELA, and science tests.

GREEN DOT RAINIER VALLEY LEADERSHIP ACADEMY (RVLA) 

Grades served in 2017-18: 6

Students RVLA Seattle State
Low income 68% 32% 42%
Students of color 90% 53% 46%
Transitional bilingual 20% 13% 12%
Special education 14% 15% 14%
  • RVLA students exceeded their projected performance on both the ELA and math SBAC tests, exceeding their math projection by 250%. (Projections were based on fall MAP tests.)
  • RVLA Black/African American sixth graders outperformed their Black/African American peers in the local district and statewide on the SBAC math test.

SUMMIT ATLAS 

Grades served in 2017-18: 6 and 9

Students Atlas Seattle State
Low income 48% 32% 42%
Students of color 65% 53% 46%
Transitional bilingual 8% 13% 12%
Special education 18% 15% 14%
  •  Per the MAP assessment, in one school year, Atlas ninth graders grew an average of 3.9 years in both reading and math in one school year, and sixth graders grew an average of 1.6 years in both reading and math.
  • On the ELA SBAC test, Black/African American sixth graders at Atlas achieved proficiency at a rate of 50 percent – 17 percentage points higher than the local district average and 12 percent higher than the statewide average for the same subgroup.
  • On the math SBAC test, Black/African American Atlas sixth graders achieved proficiency at a rate of 52 percent – 23 percentage points higher than the local district average and 24 percent higher than the statewide average for the same subgroup.
  • On the ELA and Math SBAC tests, sixth grade Hispanic/Latinx students at Atlas met or exceeded grade level expectations at a higher rate than peers in the local district and statewide within the same subgroup.

SUMMIT SIERRA (Seattle)

Grades served in 2017-18: 9-11

Students Sierra Seattle State
Low income 42% 32% 42%
Students of color 74% 53% 46%
Transitional bilingual 8% 13% 12%
Special education 16% 15% 14%
  • Sierra ninth graders made an average of 1.9 years of growth in one school year, per the MAP assessment.
  • 100 percent of Sierra 11th graders took (and passed) at least one Advanced Placement (AP) class, as compared to less than 37 percent of students statewide.
  • 10th graders at Sierra identifying as two or more races achieved proficiency at higher rates than peers from the same subgroup in their local district and across the state on the math and ELA state assessments.
  • 11th graders in every reportable racial demographic category and students from low-income households at Sierra outperformed their local district and statewide peers on the science state assessment (WCAS).

SPOKANE

PRIDE PREP

Grades served in 2017-18: 6-9

Students PRIDE Spokane State
Low income 49% 56% 42%
Students of color 28% 32% 46%
Transitional bilingual 0% 6% 12%
Special education 15% 17% 14%
  • All PRIDE Prep middle and high school students made at last 1.5 years of growth in math and reading in one year, per the MAP assessment.
  • Sixth graders receiving special education services at PRIDE Prep doubled the state proficiency average and nearly doubled the district proficiency average on the ELA state assessment.
  • Black/African American seventh graders at PRIDE Prep more than tripled the rate of proficiency on the ELA state assessment as compared to the local district.

SPOKANE INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY (SIA)

Grades served in 2017-18: K-3, 5-8

Students SIA Spokane State
Low income 38% 56% 42%
Students of color 30% 32% 46%
Transitional bilingual 2% 6% 12%
Special education 11% 17% 14%
  • 96 percent of SIA elementary school students that were reading below grade level in Fall 2016 were at or above grade level by Spring 2018, per the Lexia Core5 reading assessment.
  • SIA students outperformed their local district in 11 out of 12 tested grades and subjects.
  • 17 percent of SIA’s seventh graders receiving special education services achieved proficiency on the math SBAC test, as compared to 10 percent of their district peers receiving special education services and 12 percent of their peers receiving special education services statewide.

TACOMA

GREEN DOT DESTINY CHARTER MIDDLE SCHOOL

Grades served in 2017-18: 6-8

Students Destiny Tacoma State
Low income 71% 56% 42%
Students of color 78% 61% 46%
Transitional bilingual 7% 11% 12%
Special education 22% 15% 14%
  • Per the MAP assessment, Destiny students receiving special education services and ELLs at Destiny grew faster than their national peers in these subgroups in both math and reading.
  • Destiny eighth graders from low-income households outperformed their district peers from the same subgroup on both the math SBAC test and the WCAS statewide science assessment.

SOAR ACADEMY

Grades served in 2017-18: K-3

Students SOAR Tacoma State
Low income 71% 56% 42%
Students of color 81% 61% 46%
Transitional bilingual 6% 11% 12%
Special education 17% 15% 14%
  • 24 percent of third graders at SOAR received special education services. SOAR third graders receiving special education services had an average rate of reading growth of 1.8 school years in one school year, according to MAP and STAR test data. (Note: Due to small sample size, most of SOAR Academy’s disaggregated SBAC data was suppressed.)

SUMMIT OLYMPUS

Grades served in 2017-18: 9-11

Students Olympus Tacoma State
Low income 71% 56% 42%
Students of color 70% 61% 46%
Transitional bilingual 7% 11% 12%
Special education 20% 15% 14%
  •  Olympus 10th graders made an average of 1.8 years of growth in math in one school year, per the MAP assessment.
  • 100 percent of Olympus 11th graders took (and passed) at least one Advanced Placement (AP) class, as compared to less than 37 percent of students statewide.
  • 10th graders at Olympus from low-income households outperformed their district and statewide peers from low-income households on the ELA state assessment.
  • 11th graders in every reportable racial demographic category, and students qualifying for free and reduced priced lunch at Olympus outperformed their district and statewide peers on the state science assessment (WCAS).

[1] Trends are based on data that is publicly available and does not account for data suppressed due to small sample sizes. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington State Report Card, September 2018

 

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